Sainsbury’s will not challenge customers walking through the door without a face mask

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Sainsbury’s will not “challenge” shoppers who enter its stores without covering their faces, although this becomes a legal requirement as of Friday.The supermarket giant has said customers who enter its stores will not be interviewed – as they may have a hidden disability.

It comes as the government prepares to make face masks mandatory from July 24, in its latest fight against the coronavirus.

The guidelines state that supermarket staff will not be required to wear face blankets, but Sainsbury’s supermarket rivals have said customers will be required to don blankets from this weekend.

Under new rules, police will be able to fine those who refuse to wear a mask – while retailers will be able to deny entry to those who refuse not to comply.

In England fines start at £ 100 but will be reduced to £ 50 if the person pays within 14 days. In Scotland, fines start at £ 60.

Sainsbury’s, however, told Twitter users: “We will not challenge customers without a mask when entering or when they are in a store because they may have a reason not to wear a mask. “



Sainsbury’s has announced that it will not enforce the wearing of face coverings in any of its stores

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Elsewhere, rival supermarket Aldi said shoppers would be required to wear masks – but said shoppers should be aware of those who may have a hidden disability.

In an email to buyers, Aldi Managing Director Giles Hurley said: “Last week the government announced that masks will be mandatory in stores in England from July 24 and, for this reason, you will have to wear a mask to enter one. of our stores from that date.

“Even as the country opens up again, I know that many are concerned about security and don’t want the steps we take to move forward to mean that we are taking a step back in the fight against the virus.

“To these vulnerable customers, rest assured that the measures we have introduced to give you safe access to affordable food, such as early opening hours Monday through Saturday, will continue and that our grocery packages delivered to homes are still available for purchase, ”he told me.

“It was heartwarming to see clients remember that not all disabilities and health issues are visible, and be mindful of others who may not be able to socialize or wear a mask. ”

Under the current rules, you are not required to wear blanket if you have “a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability” and would experience “severe distress” because of it.

This includes if you have autism or if you are a child under the age of 11.

Check out our guide to face mask exemptions and how to apply for a card, here

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